The one about my flight survival guide

So I leave tomorrow morning at 6 am to fly into Kansas City followed by a 3 and 1/2 hour drive to Andover where my sister lives. How do I plan to survive the plane ride and car ride? With the essentials of course.

1) My kindle: I downloaded a bunch of books from the library as well as some more free classics from Amazon. It’s so small and compact and makes traveling with books so much easier! I love having choices when I read.

2) Two hardcover books: There is a period at the beginning and the end of each flight where all electronic devices must be turned off. This includes kindles. So I’m taking the non fiction and fiction books I’m currently reading so I don’t have to spend a moment of my flight not reading.

3) the last two issues of Entertainment Weekly: Sometimes you don’t want to focus on something as heavy as a book on an airplane so a magazine is a perfect alternative. And what better magazine than one that focuses mainly on television and movies?

4) My ipod: on the airplane and in the airport I’m usually not even listening to anything since it’s hard for me to concentrate on a book while music is playing. But I put the earbuds in my ears to discourage any chatty people who want to be my new best friend in flight. Hey dude sitting next me, it’s 8 am…I don’t want to chat!

5) My ipod car adapter: this is obviously for the road trip portion of my journey. A four hour drive on one highway requires some podcasts and music to listen to. In a future entry I will write about the best podcasts to listen to while driving. But since I have to be up and on the road in 7 hours I will say goodnight for now!

Janelle

The one where I’m getting ready to go to Kansas

I know it’s a short post today but I’m being productive and packing for my trip to Kansas. My sister and brother in law are going to New Orleans and so Aunt Nell is being flown out to watch the L’s for 5 days. I leave Wednesday and those of you that know me know that it is crazy that I am packing tonight and not at 1 am tomorrow night. I’m a big believer in putting off packing until the last moment, but I got hit with the urge tonight.

Anyway I’m so excited because soon I will get to see these faces I’m sad I will only get to this face briefly

before she gets to go on vacation with Mommy and Daddy. (Not gonna lie though at 2 am I’m going be happy to just have the L’s) Anyway keeping up with my Lent goal of writing on here everyday is going to get challenging over the next week, but hey if it was easy I wouldn’t have chosen to try it! Have a great night everyone!

Janelle

the one with the book survey

1) What author do you own the most books by?
I think that would kind of be a 4 way tie.  Lucy Maud Montgomery, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, and Meg Cabot

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I have a few copies of Pride and Prejudice as well as a couple of copies of Anne of Green Gables

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
sure, but it’s a survey so they don’t tend to always be grammatically correct

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I have a soft spot for Mr. Knightly in Emma and Mr. Tilney in Northanger Abbey

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
The Anne of Green Gables series. Also Emma, and the Harry Potter series

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
hmmm ten years old. I think that would have to be Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume. I adored that book and read it all the time.  I have a very fond memory of my sister reading that book out lout on a family vacation in Vermont.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
I can’t think of one because I follow the 50 pages rule. If 50 pages in, the book is boring me I will put it down.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
tough one! I adored The Time Traveler’s wife. When i finished it I wanted to read it again right then

9) If you could force everyone who reads this to read one book, what would it be?
The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
umm no clue… I don’t follow that stuff

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I tend to not like books that are made into movies because I see them so clearly in my head that a movie could never measure up. But hearkening back to another question, seeing Sally J Freedman on screen would be cool as long as none of the “Disney” girls were in it (ie Miley Cyrus etc)

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
see above answer…most books

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
before the seventh Harry Potter book came out I had a dream that JK Rowling decided to end with the 6th book and we were all left with a massive cliff hanger…scary!

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
I always feel slightly lowbrow when I’m reading a trashy “chick lit” book on the beach. but i wouldn’t call those books lowbrow…just different. You should read what you like. Whether that is classic literature or Jackie Collins, read what you want!

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Great Expectations. I made myself read it because it’s Dickens and he’s pretty important. But good lord I hated reading that book! Cut down your sentence length dude!!

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
unfortunately I’ve only ever seen the main ones…Romeo and Juliet etc.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
the Russians although really i prefer the British (I’m assuming we are talking about authors)

18) Roth or Updike?
can I say neither? because I say neither =)
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Sedaris

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare because Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing are the forefathers of all romantic comedy heroes and heroines.

21) Austen or Eliot?
Austen definitely

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I hate most American Lit…I’ve never finished anything by Mark Twain and Nathanial Hawthorne makes me want to gouge my eyes out!

23) What is your favorite novel?
Emma, by Jane Austen

24) Play?
“Much Ado About Nothing” Billy Shakespeare =)

25) Poem?
anything by Emily Dickinson or e e cummings

26) Essay?
Can I say Tina Fey’s book? That is a collection of short essays!

27) Short story?
anything by Edgar Allen Poe especially “The Tell Tale Heart”

28) Work of nonfiction?
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (what a rich book!) Each wife gets the full blown historical treatment. Anne Bolyen is particularly fascinating.

29) Who is your favorite writer?
wow…classic would be Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell. More modern? JK Rowling, Lauren Willig, and Lucy Maud Montgomery

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I think the women who wrote Twilight. GO AHEAD EVERYONE HATE ME FOR LIFE!!! I’m sorry my ovaries don’t explode at the very thought of Edward Cullen!

31) What is your desert island book?
Go back and read my blog post from Friday. I cannot pick just one; I had to pick 6.

32) And what are you reading right now?
I’m reading a few books at once right now. I’m reading The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig which is the latest installment in her Pink Carnation series, Live From New York an oral history of Saturday Night Live (Which is fascinating btw),  an anthology of short stories by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and an anthology of short stories by Georgette Heyer on my Kindle.

Happy Sunday night everyone! Enjoy the Oscars!

Janelle

The one where I talk about music

I’m going to be honest. This is old. I posted this as a facebook note awhile ago. But I did go back and edit some things before publishing it. Also I said I would post everyday, not that I would write something totally new everyday. =) See how I did that? Anyway this albums are not just my favorites, but albums that have had some sort of impact on me. Enjoy!

20. Sara Grove – All right here
Sara writes some of the most rich and thought provoking lyrics. You can so tell that she was an English major (while attending Evangel University the same school that I went to) because each line is like a full course meal.

19. Norah Jones-Come away with me
her voice has the capacity to soothe my soul. also her hair is amazing

18. The Elms – The Chess Hotel
this album makes me want to live in the mid west so I can blast it while driving down a country rode with the windows down. That’s pretty powerful stuff to make a Jersey girl wish that.

17. Jon Foreman-Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall EP’s
These all count as one because if you take one away the story is incomplete. To understand how much I love these albums let me say this: Jon Foreman takes the things I don’t know how to say and puts them into the most beautiful lines and pairs them with the most beautiful melodies and manages to break my heart and put it back together all at the same time. wow

16. Dc Talk-Free at last
My sister got the tape when she graduated from 8th grade and i memorized all the raps…except for the song “I Don’t Want It”. My mother thought it was inappropriate for a 7 year to walk around singing “I don’t want your sex for now” go figure.” Toby Mac, and the mac is back no slack!”

15. Superchic(k)-Karaoke Superstars
Makes me remember coming back from Creation Music Festival and finding out AJ and I had discovered the same band while being in 2 different states. So much fun and just silly girl power stuff.

14. The Civil Wars- Barton Hollow
the only way to describe this album is hauntingly beautiful. I am so excited this band is gaining a new following. they are amazing!
13. Kelly Clarkson-Breakaway
This album makes me wanna drive in my car with all the windows down singing at the top of my lungs. Every type of break up song is on here…I’m sad you left me, I’m glad I left you, I’m angry you left me…etc

12. Third Day – Time
The group that was my introduction to christian music. I love Mac Powell’s voice.

11. Once – Original Movie Soundtrack
hauntingly beautiful. I cry whenever i hear it

10. Coldplay-A Rush of Blood to the Head
no words. Chris Martin owns my soul

9. The Beatles-Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Just when you think this album can’t get any better along come “A Day in the Life” to blow your mind

8. Maroon 5-Songs about Jane
I would give pretty much anything to be Jane…and to have Adam Levine sing to me

7. Leeland-Sound of Melodies
makes me want to fall on my face before God and just lay there for awhile

6. Hillsong-This is Our God
Has the power to calm me down no matter what has just happened

5. Relient K-Two lefts don’t make a right, but three do
I can’t listen to this without smiling. Also could the song Over thinking be any more about me?

4. John Mayer-Continuum
Stop this Train and Slow Dance in a burning room are songs I cannot live without

3. Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown
Perfect album. AJ and I spent many youth group trips screaming these songs at the top of our lungs…and annoying everyone in the van.

2. Across the Universe:Original Movie Soundtrack
Some of the best covers of Beatles song I’ve ever heard

1. The Beatles-Abbey Road
This is the perfect album from start to finish. If you start to listen to one song you must finish the whole album because they flow so perfectly. This album is so great I have to include the whole thing when I make a Beatles Mix…it’s impossible for me to pick my favorites from it. I can’t express enough how amazing this album is…if you don’t own it buy it. If you do own it you already know

As you can tell the Beatles are my favorite band. One of these days I’ll rank just their albums. Until then I’ll end with one of my favorite Beatles lyrics lines from a song called funnily enough “The End”

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

The One about Books

Today I thought I’d do a fun list; what books I would take with me if I was going to be stranded on a desert island. Of course this question is kind of a moot point since I got a Kindle because I would just download all the books I already own, but let’s pretend that isn’t a factor. This list is numbered but the numbers have nothing to do with favored status. Just assume they are all number 1 because otherwise why would I be taking them?

1. Emma by Jane Austen: I love Jane Austen and it pains me to only include one of her books on the list, but if I had to choose just one to bring it would be Emma. I love the story of Emma. A spoiled slightly narcissistic naive girl tries her best to fix the mistakes she finds in others all while being totally blind to her own. Not gonna lie there is something familiar about this heroine. I see a little bit of myself in her. (ok ok fine A LOT of myself in her) Emma screws things up but she always has the best of intentions at heart; her love for her friends and family. Plus the declaration of love between Emma and Mr. Knightley might be one of the best I’ve ever read. “If I loved you less I might be able to talk about it more.” SWOON. If you’ve never read it give it a shot. Austen’s writing can be hard to get used to so I’d recommend an audiobook version if you are totally new to her work. It’s always easier to understand something that is being read to you. Also watch the movies Clueless- it’s one of the best adaptations of that book I’ve ever seen.

2. Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Oh man, oh man was it hard to only pick one book in the Anne series to take. (I’m trying to not to pick very many books by the same author and I’m not allowing myself to choose a whole series of something) I love everything that Lucy Maud Montgomery has written. In fact, the entire second shelf of my bookshelf is ONLY books written by her or about her. See!

But Anne of the Island is the one I would want with me on a desert Island. It’s so wonderful. When I was younger I dreamed of having a college experience like Anne and her friends. I wanted to live in a house like Patty’s Place which seemed so warm and cozy with 3 of my closest friends. Also this is the book where Anne and Gilbert finally get together and it is glorious! “I don’t want diamond sunbursts or marble halls! I just want you!” DOUBLE SWOON! I almost picked Anne of Avonlea because I love Miss Lavender’s story, but in the end Anne and Gilbert having their happy moment won out.

3. The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery: I KNOW I KNOW but seriously go back and look at the picture. The whole shelf is Lucy Maud Montgomery books there is no WAY I could just pick one. Ok so if you’ve never read any books by Montgomery GO OUT AND READ THIS ONE RIGHT NOW! Seriously, this is the book that will prove to you that she does not just write “children’s books” (which I would contest the Anne series is not but whatever) Anyway the heroine in this book is in her late 20’s and it’s honestly one of the most mature books Montgomery ever wrote. It’s about a girl named Valancy Stirling who is very shy and timid and lets herself by ruled by her overbearing family. They control everything about her even down to the style of her hair. One day Valancy finds out from her doctor that she has a heart defect that could cause her to drop dead at any moment. This thought instead of scaring Valancy, frees her. She leaves her family to go and live with an old drunk wild man who lives up in the mountains who needs someone to take care of his invalid daughter. It’s such a wonderful book about making the best of the life that you have. It also boasts one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever read. Don’t let the hero’s name deter you (Barney Snaith I KNOW!) he is wonderful. The way Montgomery writes the relationship is so beautiful and mature that it makes me ache. I love this book so much I would trade Anne of the Island for it if you told me I couldn’t take 2 books by the same author. (But please don’t make me do that).

4.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: Ok deciding between this one and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was really difficult but in the end I choose this one based on the same character…Remus Lupin. Remus Lupin is my favorite non Trio character in the Harry Potter series. I love him. So if you’ve read the whole series you know why I chose this one over the 7th. Prisoner of Azakaban also had really great back story into Harry’s father’s life. But really the reason why I chose this book begins and ends with Remus Lupin. He is introduced in this book and I fell in love with him. (BTW the worst part of the movies in my opinion was how little Lupin was in them PLUS the man who played him was so far away from how I pictured him that the few times he was on screen I was taken right out of the movie.

5. Bossypants by Tina Fey: I only wanted to choose one funny memoir so it was really hard to choose between this and Mindy Kaling’s book. But in the end I chose this book because I laughed out loud reading almost every page. If I was stuck on a desert island I would want to be able to laugh and I know Tina Fey would do that for me. My favorite chapter is the one called “A Mother’s Prayer for her Daughter.” So funny. the whole book is worth buying for that chapter alone.

 6. The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig: I had to include one “chick lit” book on the list. This is the second in a series by Lauren Willing called the Pink Carnation Series and it is my favorite (so far). It follows the fictional spy the Pink Carnation (think like the Scarlet Pimpernel) in England and France during the Napoleonic Wars and her society of fellow spies. The witty banter and love story between Henrietta and Miles is why this book is so delightful. Their dialogue practically sparkles off the page. Sure it’s a slightly cheesy historical romance novel, but you know what? I’m stuck on a island by myself. I need some cheese to survive! It can’t be all high brow all the time.

So there you have it. The books I would take with me on a desert Island. Six is a random number but I tried to keep the number low because obviously the point of the game is to only pick a few. Also this does not include non fiction. Maybe I’ll do another list another day of just the non fiction books I would take with me. I would highly recommend any of the above books for you to read. If you do pick one of these up based on my suggestions, leave me a comment and let me know. Or better yet leave me your own desert island list in the comments section. What books would you take! Now stop reading this and go read a book!

Janelle

 

 

 

The one where I talk about Lent

So, I did not grow up in a traditional church that focused on Lent and Ash Wednesday. But, I was always taught about the importance of fasting and how that could help my spiritual growth. Over the past few years I have partcipated in Lent on my own and found it to be an enriching experience. This year, I was having a hard time coming up with something to do for Lent when I read a very interesting article that suggested adding something to your daily life that is good and healthy instead of just giving something up. So while I am giving something up (limiting my eating out to one time a week), I have also added a new daily Bible reading plan that focuses primarily on Lent. (Thank you youversion.com) I also decided to write on this blog everyday during Lent.

Why make this part of my Lent? Well to be truthful, I love to write but find it hard to get motivated to do it consistently. One of my favorite blogger’s Rachel Evans made the point that her blog traffic increased the more she wrote on it. Also I find myself only wanting to write when I feel good about something or want to prove a point on a specific subject. When I’m feeling insecure and depressed I don’t write. I don’t write because I’m afraid of appearing weak and vulnerable even if it just to the 2 of you that read my blog regularly (hi Jena and AJ). By forcing myself to write everyday I think I will also force myself to be honest about ALL I’m feeling and experiencing.

So here is the first day…an explanation. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! I hope when Lent is over I can look back and track my growth. Until tomorrow then!

Janelle

PS I love when I get comments on Facebook but I also love getting comments on the actual posts, so keep them coming!

The one where I’m tired

I am so tired.

I’m tired of old white men making my decisions for me.

I’m tired of women’s issues being discussed and debated by panels of only men.

I’m tired of men pitting women against each other for their own political gain.

I’m tired of a religious group that stayed largely silent on the issue of child molestation having no problem vocally denying women access to contraceptive based on their religious beliefs.

I’m tired of some religious ideology being more important than others.

I’m tired of men telling me what it means to be a biblical woman

I’m tired of political parties that coopt my Christianity when it’s convenient and lucrative for their political success.

I’m so tired, but I can’t rest. There is work to be done and prayers to be said. Lord help me not be used and made a fool of.

I’ll end this entry with something I wrote on facebook a few days ago about how I plan to go into this election season.

This election year I will not be duped into thinking that either party views me as anything other than a potential vote. I will not let the magic words “God, Jesus, religion, and Christian” convince me that the person saying those words truly believes what I believe. I will admit that some people put on the cloak of my Jesus to get me to like them, and then when the tide turns another way will throw that cloak off just as quickly as they put it on. I will be smart. I will read between the lines, and delve into deep research on the issues and not just watch the pundits argue. And most of all I will remember that no matter who is running my country, Jesus is running my life.